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MGB News

Nickel Asia addresses anti-vaxxers


An employee at Taganito Mining in Claver, Surigao del Norte, studies the survey form about vaccination just before Dr. Ubial’s address to all NAC employees across the country.

As the Philippine government rolls out its vaccination program across the country, Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) steps up to connect employees from all its subsidiaries across the country in a virtual conference that directly tackles all issues about the vaccines against COVID 19. 

Former Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, who heads the Philippine Red Cross Molecular Laboratories, on Friday, addresses all issues, contentious and otherwise, to answer varied questions from NAC employees from Cagdianao Mining in Dinagat Islands; Cordillera Exploration from Ilocos Sur; Dinapigue Mining in Isabela; Emerging Powers from Subic; Hinatuan Mining and Taganito Mining from Surigao del Norte; and Rio Tuba Mining in Palawan.

NAC is aware that according to recent reports, and from its own internal surveys, 60% of Filipinos do not want to be vaccinated.

But Dr. Ubial’s statement that “the best vaccine is the one in your arm” resonated with all NAC employees and the company hopes that after 2 hours of detailed discussion with Dr. Ubial, this number will improve.

“The pandemic has basically pushed many of us to a corner and with the internet as constant companion, misinformation can spread like wildfire and there is bound to be skepticism. We at NAC believe that an information campaign on something so important like the vaccine can impact the lives of our employees and the residents in our mining communities,” explains Gerardo B. Ongkingco, NAC VP for Human Resources.

“Dr. Ubial helps us cascade authentic information to all our employees as she shares credible, digestible and evidence-based information that our people actually understand and can relate to,” says Ongkingco.Nick2

Employees from all of NAC subsidiaries across the country listen to a presentation by Dr. Ubial of the Philippine Red Cross regarding the vaccines for Covid 19.

NAC is among the first to respond to the challenges of COVID19, by expending an accumulated P50M from its 2020 social development funds during the early months of the pandemic.  A separate budget of P18M was turned over to the Philippine Red Cross to build a molecular testing laboratory in Surigao City to support the province’s efforts for early detection of COVID-19 cases.


Lagunda to DENR employees: Live with our core values

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- Assistant Secretary for Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Joan A. Lagunda has urged employees of DENR Region 2 to live with the Department’s core values during the Human Resource Leader’s Forum held on Feb.27 in Tuguegarao City.

During the HR Leader’s Forum, Asec. Lagunda pointed out the DENR core values: Discipline, Excellence, Nobility, and Responsibility. “Employee discipline is basic, kung disiplinado ka, everything will follow,” she explained.

She likewise emphasized that her priority agenda is holistic reform for the government service.

Lagunda also lectured ethics in the government service. She said that malversation of public funds, nepotism, and red tape are unlawful acts for a government servant.

“Ang padrino system o ang kamag-anak system ay hindi bawal pero hindi dapat,” she added.

After the forum, Lagunda also graced the 10th Annual General Assembly of the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani sa Kagawaran ng Kalikasan.

She likewise visited the 4 provincial environment and natural resources and 10 community environment and natural resources offices where she talked on DENR’s vision, mission, and core values.


MGB-II holds technical confab with mining companies


Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II conducted a technical conference with three large-scale mining companies in the region held on 7 January 2021 at MGB ROII- Multipurpose Hall.

The Bureau invited representatives from OceanaGold Philippines Inc., FCF Minerals Corporation, and Dinapigue Mining Corporation in a technical conference to discuss the update on their mining operations, regional geology, monitoring system, slope stability, and geohazard management.

MGB Regional Chief Mario A. Ancheta called out for a technical conference in connection with the recent mine site landslide that happened last December 2020 in Carmen Copper located at Toledo City, Cebu.

RD Ancheta emphasized during the technical conference to regularly monitor slope stability of areas in the mine site especially during calamities with heavy rain to avoid landslide incident.

He further stressed out that companies should adhere to the highest safety and health standards and to look for ways to improve its safety protocols.


Parties ink Cagayan River rehab

The rehabilitation of the Cagayan River will soon commence after the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and two operator-dredgers was signed earlier today. 
The MOA on the Cagayan River Restoration Project was signed by DENR Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn C. Bambalan and Great River North Consortium Managing Head Antonio Talaue, and President Feng Li of Riverfront Construction Incorporated.
It can be recalled that in 2017, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte directed the dredging of heavily silted rivers in the Philippines including the Cagayan River, the country's longest and biggest river.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu issued on February 27, 2020 DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2020-07 rationalizing dredging activities in heavily silted river channels in the country to help restore their natural state and water flow and reduce flooding, and to protect and properly manage the disposition of sand.
The DAO also requires a holder of an approved dredging clearance to apply for an authority to dispose extracted material from the River Dredging Zone through MOA with the DENR Regional Office. It further states that in order to open up heavily-silted river channels, areas starting from the coastline of river deltas extending all the way upstream, in accordance with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Dredging Master Plan, shall be designated as exclusive River Dredging Zones by the Interagency Committee (IAC).
For Cagayan River, the IAC has approved the River Dredging Plan covering 30.8 kilometers as River Dredging Zone.
Director Bambalan, vice chair of the IAC on the Restoration of the Cagayan River, assured that the dredging activities to be undertaken will be at no cost on the part of the government. “The proponents will be shouldering all the expenses related to the dredging activities,” she said.
The regional environment chief said Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba on June 8, 2020 submitted to DENR Secretary Cimatu his intent to undertake river restoration through dredging activities and the same was approved by the DENR on June 16. 
“The Interagency Committee ensures that all activities pertaining to dredging will be as compliant as possible to all the requirements imposed by the government particularly in ensuring environmental consideration in terms of dredging,” Director Bambalan said adding that all the requirements were met such as the issuance of Dredging Clearance by the DPWH and the Environmental Compliance Certificate by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
In his message, Gov. Mamba, IAC chair, said the project “is a dream come true” for the province of Cagayan. “Matagal na nating pangarap ito…We should dredge the Cagayan River to mitigate flooding in the region. We should also dredge the river to open our port, port of Aparri, which closed because of the heavy siltation of the Cagayan River,” he said.
“Napakalaking tulong at napakalaking oportunidad nito para sa ating lahat. We can be connected to our neighbors up north who are ecomonic tigers of Asia. We need them and they need us,” Gov. Mamba added.
As stated in the MOA, the DENR shall conduct survey of non-metallic and metallic resources in the River Dredging Zone to determine metallic and other valuable materials in economic quantities. It shall also monitor the operation of the operator-dredger to ensure faithful compliance with applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations.
The Great River North Consortium and the Riverfront Construction Inc. shall undertake the project without any funding from the government and bear the full cost of the project including the disposal of the dredged materials; and shall not process dredged materials and shall dispose the same outside the Philippine territorial jurisdiction. They shall also report to the DENR any and all findings of precious metals or objects which they may inadvertently come across which may be of local or national interest.
During the MOA signing, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Mario Ancheta issued the certificate of accreditation to the two companies as dealer, trader and/ or retailer of minerals/mineral products and/or by-products. The accreditation is solely for Cagayan River Restoration thru dredging and shall be valid for a period of two years.
The MOA signing was witnessed by Gov. Mamba, Director Ancheta, EMB Regional Director Virgilio Edralin Licuan, Amelia Ann Chan Sin and Bing Tiu Gatchalian of Great River North Consortium, and Keryl Danisse Li and Diosdado Balmes Jr. of Riverfront Construction Inc..#


DENR Execs inspect Cagayan river

Top officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) inspect today the Cagayan River along the Magapit Narrows in Lallo, Cagayan.
DENR Undersecretaries Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, Jonas Leones and Juan Miguel Cuna, and DPWH Undersecretary Roberto Bernardo personally inspected the site which was identified by the Build Back Better Task Force as priority for rehabilitation following the flooding in the province in November. The Magapit Narrows is the area where water flow is constricted causing the retardation of the flow of floodwater thereby prolonging inundation of water in the floodplains.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has earlier ordered the immediate dredging of the sandbars starting at the Magapit Narrows.
The DENR in the region is currently conducting assessment for easement recovery simultaneous with the survey of the sandbars by the DPWH through third party surveyors.
Prior to the site visit, the national officials had a dialogue with Gov. Manuel Mamba where the latter reported update on the status of the Cagayan River Restoration Project.
Gov. Mamba is the chair of the Interagency Committee (IAC) on the Cagayan River Restoration Project created by virtue of DENR Administrative Order 2020-07 issued by Secretary Cimatu on February 27, 2020.
In the meeting, DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan who is the vice chair of the IAC said the MOA signing between the DENR and the two operator-dredgers is scheduled on December 10.
Joining the visit and the meeting were DPWH Regional Director Loreta Malaluan, DENR Assistant Regional Director Marcos Dacanay, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Mario Ancheta, Environmental Management Bureau Regional Director Virgilio Edralin Licuan, Cagayan PENR Officer Ismael Manaligod, Isabela PENR Officer Marlon Agnar, and Cagayan Provincial Administrator Darwin Sacramed.#